The Night Doctor of Richmond

Cover of  the night doctor of RichmondJoin us for the book launch of 

The Night Doctor of Richmond 

by Tony Gentry, professor emeritus at VCU.

Tony will read from and discuss this deeply researched biographical novel which imagines the life of Richmond’s notorious 19th Century grave robber Chris Baker, surely one of the strangest tales in the city’s long and peculiar history.

Born enslaved at the Medical College of Virginia, Chris Baker became the school's notorious 19th Century anatomist and body snatcher, who by his own admission robbed hundreds of graves during his long career. In his time, Baker featured regularly on the front pages of local newspapers, which called him a ghoul, a witch doctor, a murderer and even a cannibal. Though an essential medical worker, he was reviled by the Black community. He was hounded, jailed, beaten and shot, finding his only shelter in the basement of MCV’s Egyptian Building, where he prepared and disposed of cadavers. As he plied his gruesome trade, Baker walked a tightrope along the fraught racial lines of his time. In this deeply researched and richly imagined biographical novel, enter the world of Chris Baker, The Night Doctor of Richmond.


Tony Gentry is the author of a novel The Coal Tower, the story collection Last RitesYearnful Raves - 50 Poems and a series of YA biographies. A Tony Gentryprofessor emeritus in occupational therapy at Virginia Commonwealth University, he lives in Bon Air with his wife Christine and their dog Buddy.

Event date: 

Saturday, June 8, 2024 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Event address: 

10464 Ridgefield Pkwy.
Gleneagle Center
Henrico, VA 23223